Re-telling A Well-Known Parable

In today’s world, a couple thousand years removed from the Jewish, first-century days of the New Testament, I believe we have lost the shock value of what we call ‘the Good Samaritan parable’.

So I want to re-tell the account, but in a way that would cause as much shock today as it would have for those listening in Jesus’ day.

‘A man was going down from Jerusalem to Jericho, when he was attacked by robbers. They stripped him of his clothes, beat him and went away, leaving him half dead. An evangelical happened to be going down the same road, and when he saw the man, he passed by on the other side. So too, an evangelical seminary graduate, when he came to the place and saw him, passed by on the other side. But a Muslim, as he traveled, came where the man was; and when he saw him, he took pity on him. He went to him and bandaged his wounds, pouring on oil and wine. Then he put the man on his own donkey, brought him to an inn and took care of him. The next day he took out two hundred dollars and gave it to the innkeeper. “Look after him,” he said, “and when I return, I will reimburse you for any extra expense you may have.”

‘Which of these three do you think was a neighbour to the man who fell into the hands of robbers?’

The expert in biblical theology replied, ‘The Muslim who had mercy on him.’

Jesus told him, ‘Go and do likewise.’

10 thoughts on “Re-telling A Well-Known Parable

  1. The only “real” shock value, is in the “spirit and truth” itself! And here, as always God In Jesus Christ, holds the keys, Himself! And not some “Cotton patch” version of Holy Scripture! And btw, where is the Text & Verse here of the “Good Samaritan”? … (Lk. 10:29-37 … Btw, we should see verses 21-23 here also) I just bet that many “Christians” here, don’t have a clue? And I don’t say this in any meaness but sadly perhaps in God’s “judgment”? But, I am not God, just a concerned pastor-teacher! Today’s Biblical literacy is sadly below that of my British and Irish culture! (50’s and early 60’s) Yep, and old “babyboomer”! 😉

    • God has always been about getting his word to normal people, like you and I. The ‘good Samaritan’ version must be reshaped in a way that speaks to the bride today. I think this works a lot better today and Jesus would have felt very good telling it this way today.

      • I disagree, not in the idea that the so-called “normal” person should not read this great parable, but that they should read it as Jesus meant, historically and exegetically! This parable does not teach “good works”, as God’s “mercy”, grace and Gospel!

      • Robert –

        Yes, read it in its context first. Then help us think what it would look like today. I’m pretty sure God is very interested in that.

        And I think we tend to forget Jesus’ own words in places like Matt 5:16 – In the same way, let your light shine before others, that they may see your good deeds and glorify your Father in heaven.

        I’m not talking about something Luther and the Reformation wanted to combat against – good works earning us God’s grace. I’m talking about walking out loving our neighbour – the point of the storied parable.

      • My point Scott, is that the “Gospel” and certainly the “kerygma” (message) is behind the Gospel Parables, and certainly in St. Luke! We must walk very carefully here! Note Roman Catholicism likes to step in here and create a “works” righteousness of merit for the believer! This is a big mistake, biblically & theologically.

      • Robert –

        Are you dealing with things in 2012 or from 4 or 5 decades ago? Let’s lay aside this RC polarisation of things. No one, especially Christ, is teaching a “works righteousness”. Here is the king with the evangel telling us how to live and how living in accordance with his rule will actually draw people in. Astounding!

      • Scott: I know you think I am just an old Churchman and Reformed, but you did not note my first portion of my last post (the Gospel message, i.e. the kerygma, itself!) The truth is that fallen man and humanity has been seeking a works-righteousness since Cain! And Roman Catholicism, though certainly presenting the proper Christ, and the Trinity of God (overall) sometimes miss the doctrine of God’s Sovereignty in the Gospel of God, and often add a works-righteousness, also. Many other Churches also do this, in many other ways, Pentecostal’s, etc. sometimes. Sorry, but true! Holiness adds nothing to salvation itself, but is a product of God’s saving grace. God is not Arminian, and certainly not Pelagian, in my theological opinion!

      • Btw, if we turn to the doctrine of Justfication by Faith, there again we are challenged with the Gospel doctrine itself. For classic Reformation doctrine makes a distinction between Justification and Sanctification! Not a minor place for this Anglican! Indeed however, we must place faith and works in their proper place also.

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